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November 7

St Vincenzo Grossi - November 7

Saint Vincenzo Grossi
Priest,
Founder of the Daughters of the Oratory
(1845 – 1917)

Try not to complain ever, even try to rejoice when things go contrary to your desires.”

Saint Vincenzo Grossi

Saint’s Life Story

His Early Life 

Vincenzo was born in Pizzighettone, in the province of Cremona, Italy on March 9, 1845. He was immediately baptized in the parish church of San Bassiano. Vincenzo was the second to last of ten children (three died in infancy) of Baldassarre Grossi and Maddalena Cappellini, owners of a mill. From his parents, who were rich in faith and human values, he learned mildness and industriousness, coupled with a sincere love for God.

Vincenzo spent his childhood helping his parents. On March 23, 1854, he received Confirmation and, two years later, his First Communion. After receiving Jesus for the first time in the Eucharist, Vincenzo expressed his intention to enter the seminary, attracted by the priestly vocation and the desire to resemble his brother Giuseppe, who attended the diocesan seminary. For family reasons, he was forced to postpone his plans in order to work in his father’s mill. Vincenzo worked and studied resolutely and joyfully awaiting “God’s time”.

Entered Seminary and Ordained

At the age of nineteen, on November 4, 1864, Vincenzo entered the Seminary of Cremona and began his studies for the priesthood. His lecturers soon realized that Vincenzo was dedicated – not only within the seminary but also in the world – when he returned to Pizzighettone, he gathered around him the children to instruct them.

Almost five years later, on May 22, 1869, he was ordained a priest by the bishop of Brescia, Monsignor Girolamo Verzieri and celebrated his first Mass in the cathedral of Cremona. His first assignments were in the parishes of San Rocco in Gera di Pizzighettone and in Sesto Cremonese, followed in 1871 by the one as spiritual director (a loophole by the bishop to appoint parish priests without annoying the civil authorities) to Ca ‘dei Soresini.

Parish Priest

The first effective Parish Priest position was from 1873, in Regona, a small suburb of Pizzighettone. The population of the place had long been far from religious practice but Vincenzo devoted himself with such care that after a few years he transformed the small village into a “model”, as it was defined by his priest colleagues. He spent hours in the confessional, educating consciences in the Christian virtues and nourished himself with prayer, penance and contemplation of the Blessed Sacrament.

The passion for the young had not abandoned him – he allowed them not only to visit his house but even to empty the pantry, in order to keep them from dangerous places and companions. For the girls, in particular, he had a genuine concern. In significant agreement with the work carried out in those same years by some lay people in the diocese of Milan and with what Saint John Bosco was doing in Turin, he gave the name of “oratory” to the small group he had managed to gather in his presbytery, because his young parishioners could enjoy themselves in peace.

Vincenzo also took care of the restoration of the parish church, but without neglecting the tasks more closely related to the ministry: hearing confessions, taking care of the liturgy, taking care of the formation of the faithful. His fame as a preacher went beyond the parish and then the diocesan boundaries, so that he was called to preach in the popular missions.

In 1883, Vincenzo was assigned as parish priest in Vicobellignano by Bishop Geremia Bonomelli. His new assignment brought him into a territory where Protestant Methodist had taken hold. From the very beginning, he also showed great charity and openness towards those brothers: “Methodists must understand that I love them too,” he often said, recollecting himself in prayer. The effects were noticeable: the same pastor came several times to listen to his Lenten sermons and Protestant families sent their children to the parochial school.

Founder of the Daughters of the Oratory

In 1885 in Pizzighettone, Vincenzo founded the first community of the Daughters of the Oratory an institute dedicated to the Christian education of youth. He always rejects the title of Founder, because he firmly affirms: “The Lord is the Founder”. He ensured that the order was guided by the rules of Saint Philip Neri. This congregation empowered and supported young girls, fostering their spiritual, intellectual, and emotional growth. He instructed the religious with catechesis and continuous reading, so that they would have a solid Catholic background, and urged them to educate the young in the Christian spirit with the “holy joviality” of their protector.

In the meantime, the Daughters of the Oratory had opened a house in Maleo with the approval of the bishop of Lodi, Giovanni Battista Rota, and other communities in the Diocese of Guastalla. However, in order to guarantee the scholastic formation of those among them who should have dedicated themselves to teaching, the city of Lodi was chosen, where it was decided to buy a house in Via Paolo Gorini.

In 1895, Sister Maria Caccialanza was chosen as the elder sister of that first group, but she died on September 5, 1900. She was succeeded by Ledovina Scaglioni, the first Mother General.

His Death

In 1917, while Vincenzo was in Lodi to arrange some urgent matters for the Institute, he felt ill. Despite the pains in his stomach, indications of fulminant peritonitis, he wanted to return to Vicobellignano. In the first days of November his condition worsened, so much so that the sisters of Lodi rushed to receive a last blessing from him. He struggled to speak, but he could only utter a few words: “The way is open: we must go.” These words have become the motto of the Institute of the Daughters of the Oratory, which, in changing situations and times, tries to be faithfully creative to the original inspiration of its founder. On November 7, 1917 in Vicobellignano, Italy, Vincenzo gave his soul to God. He was 72 years old and had been parish priest for 43 years.

A few days earlier, to the Mistress of Novices, Vincenzo said: “Try not to complain ever, even try to rejoice when things go contrary to your desires.” His death, serene and totally available to God, he closed an exemplary life and generous.

The Daughters of the Oratory received pontifical approval on April 29, 1926. They are now widespread not only in Italy, but also in Argentina and Ecuador.

Born:                  March 9, 1845 in Pizzighettone, Cremona, Italy

Died:                  November 7, 1917 in Vicobellignano, Cremona, Italy

Beatified:          November 1, 1975 by Pope Paul VI

Canonized:       October 18, 2015 by Pope Francis

Feast Day:         November 7

Patron Saint:    Daughters of the Oratory

Source:

Reflection

Saint Vincenzo Grossi maintained a spirit of simplicity and humility. Despite the challenges he faced, he remained steadfast in his faith and committed to his mission. He was the founder of the Daughters of the Oratory, a religious congregation focused on the education and spiritual development of young girls, providing them with the tools to lead meaningful and empowered lives. His life exemplifies the virtues of patience, humility, and a deep trust in God’s providence. These qualities are particularly relevant in today’s fast-paced world, where there is often a focus on material success and personal achievement.

Following Saint Vincenzo Grossi’s example, how can you embrace today finding holiness in everyday actions and service to others around you in need?

 

 

Prayers

Saint Vincenzo Grossi,

You, who served the Church with unwavering faith and profound humility as devoted priest and founder, we seek your intercession today.

You dedicated your life to the pastoral care of your parishioners, offering them spiritual guidance, comfort, and support.

Help us to follow your example of compassionate service, reaching out to those in need with love and understanding.

You recognized the importance of education and empowerment, particularly for young girls, and worked tirelessly to provide them with the tools to lead meaningful lives.

Inspire us to value and promote education, ensuring that all individuals have the opportunity to grow and thrive.

May your example inspire us to make a positive impact in our world, supporting the growth and development of those around us, and deepening our own spiritual journeys.

Saint Vincenzo Grossi, pray for us. Amen.

Saint Links 

AnaStpaul – Saint of the Day – 7 November – Saint Vincenzo Grossi (1845-1917)

Daily Compass – Saint Vincenzo Grossi

Melanie Rigney – Francesco Fasani

Santi e Beati (Italian) – St. Vincent Grossi Priest and founder

The Daughters of the Oratory (Italian) – St. Vincent Grossi: Witness of Faith and Charity

Video Link

Saint of the day of November 07 | St. Vincenzo Grossi – YouTube (Saints of Everyday)